"In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of The Lord spoken by Jeremiah, The Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing: "This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: "The Lord, The God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build a Temple [see Temples] for Him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of his people among you - may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build The Temple of The Lord, The God of Israel, The God who is in Jerusalem."" (Ezra 1:1-3)
My (Sal) first "real" contact with an Iranian was during college. It was my junior year at UMM when I was an RA and would occassionally chat with her when doing "rounds" (walking around to make sure all the 200 estimated residents in the residencial hall were doing "alright"). She would later become a Christian after giving her life to the Lord (see pesonal savior) before going back to your homeland. Last time I heard about her was months after when a friend told me her family disabbandoned her because she became a Christian.
I would later meet more Iranians/Persians after as I became more aware of this ethnic group/people. I even had a dentist who was married to an Iranian, which she would talk about. I met a UMM student who shared some information of his Iranian background too.
Iran Calls Second Missile Test a Success (Sunday, April 2nd 2006) "The Iranian-made torpedo — called the "Hoot," or "whale" — has a speed of 223 miles per hour, said Gen. Ali Fadavi, deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards' Navy.
That would make it about three or four times faster than a normal torpedo and as fast as the world's known fastest, the Russian-made VA-111 Shkval, developed in 1995. It was not immediately known if the Hoot was based on the Shkval."
2006-Increase Hate Torwards Israel The fate of Iranian Jews "Haroun Yeshaya, longtime chairman of the Jewish Central Committee of Tehran, sent a letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regarding his repeated denial of the Holocaust."
2003-Dec: 40,000 + deadly earthquake
"In October 539 BCE, the Persian king Cyrus took Babylon, the ancient capital of an oriental empire covering modern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. In a broader sense, Babylon was the ancient world's capital of scholarship and science. The subject provinces soon recognized Cyrus as their legitimate ruler."
"This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. "You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the LORD, have created it."Isaiah 45:1-8
*researched this after watching a part of 300, a Warner Brothers Movie on April 20th of 2007
"Xerxes was son of Darius I and Atossa, the daughter of Cyrus the Great (see above).....Invasion of the Greek mainland
Main article: Greco-Persian Wars
Darius left to his son the task of punishing the Athenians, Naxians, and Eretrians for their interference in the Ionian revolt and their defeat of the Persians at Marathon. From 483 BC Xerxes prepared his expedition with great care: A channel was dug through the isthmus of the peninsula of Mount Athos, provisions were stored in the stations on the road through Thrace, two bridges were thrown across the Hellespont. According to Herodotus, Xerxes' first attempt to bridge the Hellespont ended in failure when a storm destroyed the flax and papyrus bridge; Xerxes ordered the Hellespont (the strait itself) whipped three hundred times and had fetters thrown into the water. Xerxes' second attempt to bridge the Hellespont was successful. Xerxes concluded an alliance with Carthage, and thus deprived Greece of the support of the powerful monarchs of Syracuse and Agrigentum. Many smaller Greek states, moreover, took the side of the Persians, especially Thessaly, Thebes, and Argos. Xerxes, with a large fleet and army (Herodotus the Greek historian claimed that there were over 2,000,000 soldiers), set out in the spring of 480 BC from Sardis. Xerxes was victorious during the initial battles. At the Battle of Thermopylae, a small force of warriors, led by King Leonidas, resisted the much larger Persian forces, but were ultimately defeated. After Thermopylae, Athens was conquered, and the Athenians and Spartans were driven back to their last line of defense at the Isthmus of Corinth and in the Saronic Gulf. At Artemisium, the battle was indecisive as large storms had destroyed ships from the Greek side. The battle was also stopped prematurely as the Greeks learned news of the defeat at Thermopylae and retreated. But Xerxes was induced by the message of Themistocles (against the advice of Artemisia of Halicarnassus) to attack the Greek fleet under unfavourable conditions, rather than sending a part of his ships to the Peloponnesus and awaiting the dissolution of the Greek armies. The Battle of Salamis (September 29, 480 BC) was won by the Athenians. Although the loss was a setback it was not a disaster and Xerxes set up a winter camp in Thessaly. Due to unrest in Babylon Xerxes was forced to send his army home to prevent a revolt leaving behind an army in Greece under Mardonius who was defeated the following year at Plataea in 479 BC. The defeat of the Persians at Mycale roused the Greek cities of Asia" In the Bible "Xerxes is also believed by some scholars to be Ahasuerus, the King in the biblical Book of Esther, though some Jewish scholars are skeptical about this. 
The Judeo-Roman historian Josephus took the historical existence of Vashti and Esther as fact , though the works of Herodotus suggest that Xerxes had a Queen consort named Amestris, daughter to Otanes. This name discrepancy is not necessarily a conflict in accounts, since the word Esther can also be understood to mean "hidden" in Hebrew. Her name is interpreted thus in Midrash (Jewish biblical commentaries), where it is said that Esther hid her nationality and lineage as Mordecai had advised."
...more Women in the bible
"For five centuries prior to the British colonization, Persian was widely used as a second language in the Indian subcontinent; it took prominence as the language of culture and education in several Muslim courts in India and became the "official language" under the Mughal emperors. Only in 1843 did the subcontinent begin conducting business in English. Evidence of Persian's historical influence in the region can be seen in the extent of its influence on the languages of Hindustani (resulting in Urdu), Marathi, Punjabi, Sindhi, and Gujarati, as well as the popularity that Persian literature still enjoys in the region. Additionally, a small population of Persian speakers (mostly of the Dari and Tajik dialects) can be found in the urban and western highlands of Pakistan."
"The 18th largest country in the world, Iran is approximately the size of the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Germany combined. It has a population of over seventy million people.... Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein decided to take advantage of what he perceived to be disorder in the wake of the Iranian Revolution and its unpopularity with Western governments. The once-strong Iranian military had been disbanded during the revolution, and with the Shah ousted, Hussein had ambitions to position himself as the new strong man of the Middle East. He also sought to expand Iraq's access to the Persian Gulf by acquiring territories that Iraq had claimed earlier from Iran during the Shah's rule. Of chief importance to Iraq was Khuzestan which not only boasted a substantial Arab population, but rich oil fields as well. On the unilateral behalf of the United Arab Emirates, the islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs became objectives as well. With these ambitions in mind, Hussein planned a full-scale assault on Iran, boasting that his forces could reach the capital within three days. On September 22, 1980 the Iraqi army invaded Iran at Khuzestan, precipitating the Iran-Iraq War. The attack took revolutionary Iran completely by surprise.
Although Saddam Hussein's forces made several early advances, by 1982, Iranian forces managed to push the Iraqi army back into Iraq. Khomeini sought to export his Islamic revolution westward into Iraq, especially on the majority Shi'a Arabs living in the country. The war then continued for six more years until 1988, when Khomeini, in his words, "drank the cup of poison" and accepted a truce mediated by the United Nations.
Tens of thousands of Iranian civilians and military personnel were killed when Iraq used chemical weapons in its warfare. Iraq was financially backed by Egypt, the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact states, the United States (beginning in 1983), France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, and the People's Republic of China (which also sold weapons to Iran). All of these countries provided intelligence, agents for chemical weapons as well as other forms of military assistance to Saddam Hussein. Iran's principal allies during the war were Syria, Libya, and North Korea.
With more than 100,000 Iranian victims of Iraq's chemical weapons during the eight-year war, Iran is the world's second-most afflicted country by weapons of mass destruction— second only to Japan. The total Iranian casualties of the war were estimated to be anywhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000. Almost all relevant international agencies have confirmed that Saddam engaged in chemical warfare to blunt Iranian human wave attacks; these agencies unanimously confirmed that Iran never used chemical weapons during the war"
Sports: " Iran hence was the birthplace of sports such as polo, backgammon, Varzesh-e Pahlavani, and even indigenous modern martial arts styles such as Shinzen Karate  and Kan-zen-ryu. Tehran was furthermore the first city in the Middle East to host the Asian Games in 1974."
*saw this during my July 4th holiday week vacation on Thursday, July 5th of 2007
I read the Book Esther before, but God opened my eyes even more as I read it again while watching the movie. I feel the movie was very timely with what's going on in the Middle East-particulary around Iraq-Iran..."for such as a time"
Reviews: Christian Answers "Hadassah, Esther’s real Jewish name (played with sweet genuineness by beautiful new comer, Tiffany Dupont), was born in Susa (Shushan), a city east of the Tigris River, into a loving and devout Jewish family whose roots lay in the esteemed tribe of Benjamin. When she was just a child her Mother and Father were killed by the armies of the decedents of the evil King Agag of the Amalakites." Fox Faith Movies IMDB Wikipedia
Related Sites: Queen for a Day
In her first leading role, 25-year-old Tiffany Dupont plays the biblical character of Esther in One Night With the King, which she describes as a beautiful love story—and an inspiring film for all types.
by Mark Moring | posted 10/10/2006 (Christianity Today) "Tiffany Dupont: Yes. I go to a Calvary Chapel church out here in Los Angeles. I had been here about two years at the time. I'm very close with my church, very close with the pastor and his wife, and I work with a girls ministry here.
Anyway, I had auditioned like five times for the role, but I still hadn't heard anything. So I'm at church one Sunday, sitting with the pastor's wife. Then the pastor starts talking about this movie, and that they're praying for it, they're excited about it, and all that. All of a sudden he goes, "And one of our own is going to be playing Esther!" And I was like, "What???" I was the only one at our church who had tried out for it, so I knew it was me. And they filmed the whole thing of me getting the role at my church."
Mr Ahmadinejad warned Muslim leaders not to recognise Israel...
'World without Zionism'
Mr Ahmadinejad told some 3,000 students in Tehran that Israel's establishment had been a move by the West against the Islamic world.
He was addressing a conference entitled The World without Zionism and his comments were reported by the Iranian state news agency Irna.
"As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map," he said, referring to Iran's late revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
In 2001, former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani called for a Muslim state to annihilate Israel with a nuclear strike
Ahmadinejad questions 9/11, Holocaust, By NAHAL TOOSI, Associated Press Writer (Monday, September 24th of 2007)
*site on 9-11 " NEW YORK - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad questioned the official version of the Sept. 11 attacks and defended the right to cast doubt on the Holocaust in a tense appearance Monday at Columbia University, whose president accused the hard-line leader of behaving like "a petty and cruel dictator."
Ahmadinejad smiled at first but appeared increasingly agitated, decrying the "insults" and "unfriendly treatment." Columbia President Lee Bollinger and audience members took him to task over Iran's human-rights record and foreign policy, as well as Ahmadinejad's statements denying the Holocaust and calling for the disappearance of Israel.
"Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator," Bollinger said, to loud applause.
He said Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust might fool the illiterate and ignorant.
"When you come to a place like this it makes you simply ridiculous," Bollinger said. "The truth is that the Holocaust is the most documented event in human history."
Ahmadinejad rose, also to applause, and after a religious invocation, said Bollinger's opening was "an insult to information and the knowledge of the audience here."
"There were many insults and claims that were incorrect, regretfully," Ahmadinejad said, accusing Bollinger of falling under the influence of the hostile U.S. press and politicians. "I should not begin by being affected by this unfriendly treatment."
During a question and answer session, Ahmadinejad appeared tense and unsmiling, in contrast to more relaxed interviews and appearances earlier in the day.
In response to one audience, Ahmadinejad denied he was questioning the existence of the Holocaust: "Granted this happened, what does it have to do with the Palestinian people?"
But then he said he was defending the rights of European scholars, an apparent reference to a small number who have been prosecuted under national laws for denying or minimizing the Holocaust.
"There's nothing known as absolute," he said.
He reiterated his desire to visit ground zero to express sympathy with the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, but then appeared to question whether al-Qaida was responsible.
"Why did this happen? What caused it? What conditions led to it?" he said. "Who truly was involved? Who was really involved and put it all together?"
Asked about executions of homosexuals in Iran, Ahmadinejad said the judiciary system executed violent criminals and high-level drug dealers, comparing them to microbes eliminated through medical treatment. Pressed specifically about punishment of homosexuals, he said: "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country."
With the audience laughing derisively, he continued: "In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have this."
Bollinger was strongly criticized for inviting Ahmadinejad to Columbia, and had promised tough questions in his introduction to Ahmadinejad's talk. But the strident and personal nature of his attack on the president of Iran was startling.
"You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated," Bollinger told Ahmadinejad about the leader's Holocaust denial.
During his prepared remarks, the Iranian president did not address Bollinger's accusations directly.
Suzanne Maloney, a foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution, said Ahmadinejad's softer tone on Israel in this speech may reflect backlash in his own country.
"There's been widespread commentary in Iran, even on the far-right, that Ahmadinejad's position on Israel has hurt the country's diplomatic relations," said Maloney. "The fact that he was frankly unwilling to go as far as he has in the past suggests there may have been some consequences for him at home."
President Bush said Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia "speaks volumes about really the greatness of America."
He told Fox News Channel that if Bollinger considers Ahmadinejad's visit an educational experience for Columbia students, "I guess it's OK with me."
Other American officials were less sympathetic.
On Capitol Hill, conservatives said Columbia should not have invited Ahmadinejad to speak. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said "there is a world of difference between not preventing Ahmadinejad from speaking and handing a megalomaniac a megaphone and a stage to use it."
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., said he thought Columbia's invitation to Ahmadinejad was a mistake "because he comes literally with blood on his hands."
Thousands of people jammed two blocks of 47th Street across from the United Nations to protest Ahmadinejad's visit to New York. Organizers claimed a turnout of tens of thousands. Police did not immediately have a crowd estimate.
The speakers, most of them politicians and officials from Jewish organizations, proclaimed their support for Israel and criticized the Iranian leader for his remarks questioning the Holocaust.
"We're here today to send a message that there is never a reason to give a hatemonger an open stage," New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.
Protesters also assembled at Columbia. Dozens stood near the lecture hall where Ahmadinejad was scheduled to speak, linking arms and singing traditional Jewish folk songs about peace and brotherhood, while nearby a two-person band played "You Are My Sunshine."
Signs in the crowd displayed a range of messages, including one that read "We refuse to choose between Islamic fundamentalism and American imperialism."
Associated Press writers Karen Matthews and Aaron Clark contributed to this report.
Arab and Iranian Reaction to 9/11 - 5 Years Later - PART 1
"Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, The Middle East Media Research Institute has monitored, translated, and recorded what was said in the Arab and Iranian press about that day. Prominent journalists, members of academia, leading religious figures, and even Arab government officials helped shape conspiracies about what "really" happened. A documentary film about the Arab and Iranian reaction to 9-11 incorporates footage from various TV and satellite stations in the Middle East. It was made with Interface Media Group and narrated by acclaimed actor Ron Silver"
Related Sites: Middle East Media Research Institute
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